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Ohio State University – Undergraduate Real Estate Profile

Note from Michael: This profile is part of The A.CRE Undergraduate Real Estate Series highlighting some of the top undergraduate programs with robust opportunities to study and secure work in commercial real estate. Each profile has been written by a current or former student of the program and is written from their unique perspective on the school and its real estate offerings. A huge thanks to Jack Lucier and Miles Waytes for taking the time to write this profile of Ohio State University.

Miles“Coming out of high school I knew that I wanted to study finance and that I wanted to go to a big school that would expose me to a diverse set of people, companies, and career paths. As I started to look at my options, I paid close attention to the variety of programs a school offered, as well as the strength of those programs. What I loved about Ohio State is that it offered strong variety and also was not defined by a specific business discipline. I knew that I could change my mind or major, and still be confident in a business degree from Fisher. I had not yet discovered my passion for Real Estate, but my quest for exposure and decision to attend Ohio State would later award me the opportunity to take a deep dive into the field. When I found the Real Estate community at Ohio State, I was amazed by the level of intimacy and support, as well as the number of resources available to help students explore the field”.

Jack“Prior to attending Ohio State I knew I wanted to study business, but was unsure on the area of focus. After taking a tour with my parents, I fell in love with The Fisher College of Business. They showed how much they truly care about their students’ success and providing them with every resource possible. I started off as Finance early on in Fisher and in my early years attended a fisher real estate society meeting. Soon after I sat down with the Center for Real Estate Director Mary Beth McCormick and quickly became interested in adding a real estate major. Like many other students at Ohio State, Mary Beth played a huge role in integrating me into the real estate community”.

Real Estate at OSU

The Real Estate Program at Ohio State is three-pronged, this includes the academic curriculum, The Center for Real Estate, and two student organizations dedicated to exposing students to the industry.

The Center for Real Estate

The Center for Real Estate is a physical office located within the Fisher College of Business that facilitates the academic, extracurricular, and experiential learning surrounding real assets on campus. The Center supports student-run real estate clubs, sponsors academic research, provides scholarships to students, and introduces students to alumni and professionals through various speaker series and networking events.

The goal of the Ohio State Center for Real Estate is to positively impact the livability of our communities through educating the next generation of real estate leaders. We do this by attracting civically-minded students and developing their knowledge and passion for real estate by combining top-level education, collaboration with industry and public leaders, and supporting cutting-edge research.”

The Center is led by Mary Beth McCormick and really serves as the heartbeat of the real estate community. Prior to joining Ohio State, Mary Beth directed real estate investments for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. She leverages her experience and relationships to provide Ohio State students and alumni unparalleled exposure to the field. Below are descriptions of some of the centers most notable initiatives.

Advisory BoardThe Ohio State Center for Real Estate relies on its Advisory Board members for financial support to grow and sustain its education, research, and outreach activities. It includes the top executives in all disciplines of real estate from Ohio and beyond. Members offer the Center input on programming, internships and mentorships for students, and their time on various subcommittees. The Center is grateful for the ongoing commitment of its Advisory Board members and everything they do to advance and elevate real estate at Ohio State. In 2019, the Advisory Board was comprised of 74 members.

Mentorship Program – This program is designed to give students access to an experienced individual to turn to for guidance, advice and direction, and to help students broaden their professional networks, enhance their classroom experience, and prepare for and acquire insights into the job search process. While the official program concludes at the end of the academic year, the goal of the program is to provide the foundation for an on-going professional relationship.

Breakfast Series Events – The Real Estate Breakfast Series of the Ohio State Center for Real Estate was launched in September 2016. It is designed to strengthen linkages between real estate industry professionals and the university. The series features guest speakers and panels who discuss topics of interest and immediate concern to the real estate community. The roundtables are open to the public and provide an excellent opportunity for students to interact with alumni and professionals in the area.

Brown Bag Luncheon – The Center hosts a number of commercial real estate professionals and leaders for a question-and-answer lunch session with some of our top students. These sessions are designed to connect students with professionals in a casual and discussion-based environment. Through these events, students have expanded their professional network, gained meaningful insights, and received advice from some of the Center’s most knowledgeable contacts. Past guest speakers include David Adelman CEO of Campus Apartments, Spencer Levy Chairman of Americas Research and Senior Economic Advisor for CBRE, Arun Singh Vice President of MetLife Real Estate.

Scholarships & Travel Grants – The Ohio State Center for Real Estate offers scholarships and travel grants every year to select undergraduate and graduate students. The Center continued to support student attendance at industry events around the country. Our small travel grants ($150 to $350) help defray students’ cost of travel to these events and provide valuable networking opportunities with industry professionals outside of the central Ohio region.

Case Competitions 

ULI Hines Competition: For the past ten years, the Ohio State Center for Real Estate has collaborated with the Knowlton School of Architecture and the Columbus chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to organize and support graduate student teams from Ohio State in the national ULI Hines Competition.

ICSC & Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition: Four students from the Fisher College of Business are selected to travel to Las Vegas, Nevada to compete in the ICSC & Cornell International Retail Real Estate Case Competition. A dozen teams from universities in the United States, Canada, and Australia are tasked with putting together proposals to bring a retail real estate property to life. This competition allows our students to put the knowledge and skills they’ve learned in the classroom to practice.

Student Organizations

There are two undergraduate real estate clubs at Ohio State, The Fisher Real Estate Society and Black Students in Real Estate. Both clubs organize weekly general body meetings consisting of guest speakers, technical workshops, and site visits to provide educational and professional development opportunities to members. For many students, these club meetings serve as an introduction to the industry and to the broader Ohio State Real Estate community. They seek to equip students with fundamental knowledge, technical skills, and a strong understanding of market trends. Some of the shared goals include:

  • Leverage Columbus’s Real Estate network through local corporate engagement and community outreach.
  • Integrate informational and action-based learning into organization activities to educate members in advance of scheduled real estate coursework.
  • Facilitate group discussions to promote the interconnectedness of its members.
  • Coordinate efforts with the Center for Real Estate and Fisher College of Business to effectively grow Ohio State’s Real Estate network.
  • Instill in members new to the industry the ability to talk knowledgeably and confidently about the industry.

Jack – “Activities can range from hosting guest speakers to modeling workshops and even site visits. Often both clubs will have an open environment to talk about current events and what is going on in the real estate markets in Columbus and all around the U.S. Over the years I’ve gotten more involved in the Fisher Real Estate Society and now am one of the Co-presidents. This group has been a real catalyst for me not only in learning about real estate but also getting connected with those who have been involved in the community for a long time.”

Miles – “As a freshman on campus, my knowledge of real estate was limited to my family’s single-family rentals. When I started attending FRES meetings I was introduced to a whole new world and discovered the different kinds of income-producing real assets. I met like-minded peers & upperclassmen who shared their own experiences and encouraged me to get more involved. During my Sophomore year I began real estate coursework and met Mary Beth McCormick, I started attending events hosted by the Center for Real Estate where I was introduced to professionals across the industry. By my Junior Year I had participated in two case competitions and was looking forward to a part-time fall internship in Retail Leasing”

Course Offerings

  1. BUSFIN 3400 – Intro to Real Estate, Mary Beth McCormick, Steven Stuckwisch, Sharon Schaffer

The purpose of this course is to give students a foundational understanding of income-producing real estate. The class will discuss the major asset types – Multifamily, Retail, Office, Industrial and Hotel. In addition, the class will learn the basics of development, asset management, property management, brokerage and real estate law as well as the capital sources for real estate including mortgage lending, bank construction loans, private equity and institutional equity.

  1. BUSFIN 4410 – Real Estate Finance, Itzhak BenDavid, Steven Stuckwisch

The course’s goal is to provide students with a solid foundation in basic real estate finance. The course will start with a review the major real estate sectors – Multifamily, Retail, Office, Industrial plus Hotel. It will move on with an overview of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and discuss the real estate finance concepts such as Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate), Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) and Mortgage Amortization. The class will review the real estate capital stack and discuss the use of equity and debt in the financing of real estate. The course will touch on the various types of real estate debt from construction to permanent financing along with the current underwriting metrics used by today’s practitioners. The course will then move into real estate due diligence, financial modeling and basic real estate valuation. The course will conclude with the underwriting of an industrial acquisition and the completion of Investment Committee memorandum (IC Memo)

  1. BUSFIN 4411 – Property Management, Paul Krim

Examines Property Management for all types of Real Estate Assets. Topics include finance, acquisition, construction, budgets, sales and marketing, leasing, negotiation, and environmental issues.

  1. BUSFIN 4412 – Real Estate Law, Bruce Burkholder

Examines the major legal and ethical aspects of real estate transactions, contracts, brokerage, leases, and environmental law.

  1. BUSFIN 4413 – Planning & Development, Sharon Schaffer

Planning and Development is an introductory course into the business of real estate development. In the course, students will learn the basic principles and processes of real estate development and planning. We will explore different types of real estate development and the many roles played in the development process.

  1. BUSFIN 5402 – Real Estate Valuation, Christopher Ellis

This real estate valuation and financial modeling course will cover existing income-producing property as well as ground-up construction. Topics include market analysis, comparable valuation, income valuation, cost valuation, real estate finance, expense reimbursements, budget development, and Pro-forma modeling. The course will utilize Argus Enterprise, the industry-accepted real estate specific financial modeling software.

At a Glance

Location: 2100 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210

Phone: (614) 292-6446

Dean: Anil Makhija

Class Size: 7,851 (New Freshman)


About Jack Lucier: Jack Lucier ’21 is double majoring in Finance and Real Estate at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. As a Sophomore, Jack joined Fisher Real Estate Society and now serves as Co-President alongside peer Miles Waytes. Similar to Miles, Jack also serves as a Center for Real Estate Ambassador and enjoys helping younger students learn about the many opportunities real estate has to offer. Outside of real estate, Jack participated in one of the Fisher Global Projects in France working for the Deloitte Digital Factory. In his free time, he loves intramural sports with friends and playing the piano. After graduation, Jack will be joining Great-West Investments in Denver.

About Miles Waytes: Miles Waytes ’21 is double majoring in Finance & Real Estate at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of BusinessAs a Freshman, Miles Joined Fisher Real Estate Society and now serves as Co-President alongside peer Jack Lucier. Additionally, Miles serves as a Center for Real Estate Ambassador, where he works to organize events on behalf of the center and recruit younger students to get involved with Ohio States real estate community. Aside from Real Estate Miles works within the Fisher College as a student ambassador, providing tours and recruitment services to prospective students. In his free time, he likes to travel and try new restaurants with friends. After Graduation Miles will be joining JP Morgan’s Middle-Market Financial Sponsors team in Chicago.